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Dying Oak Tree

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cutman2000, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. cutman2000

    cutman2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 202

    I mulched a 12 foot Oak Tree about 3 years ago, and every year since(for a customer). It appears to be dying at the top. And the buds look a little slow this Spring, but visible. I tried moving the mulch back, away from the bottom of the tree, creating a bowl like look. I think the root tips that are under the tree, which would probably be under the mulch directly now, are not getting enough water, I figured. To make matters worse, this customers house is sitting on bad, clay like soil. He mentioned something about the land was dumping grounds for the city, so he's aware of the poor soil.

    If fertilizing is an option, what type?

    What options do I have? I was thinking:
    #1. Extra Water/fertilize
    #2. Take the mulch up, fertilize
    #3. Cut the top, water heavily, fertilize
    #4. Cut off the top, take up the mulch, water heavily, fertilize

  2. Busybee Lawns

    Busybee Lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Did you plant the tree or mulched 3 years ago?

    what type of oak?

    First Thing Too do is a soil ph test around the tree first
    Many species prefer slightly acidic soil

    One of the main negative effects of a mismatch between oak tree varieties and pH levels is iron chlorosis. Iron chlorosis occurs when oak trees can't absorb enough iron and causes yellowing of leaves. In severe cases, the entire tree becomes defoliated, making it more susceptible to disease. Alkaline soils bind iron, making it unavailable to plants. Oak species, such as pin, white or red oak, that grow best in acid soils will likely suffer from chlorosis in alkaline soils.
  3. cutman2000

    cutman2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 202

    I didn't plant the tree, it was there when I started service, three years ago. It was about 10 or 11 feet. It may be 12-13ft now. I will check the ph and find out what type of oak.

    Do you think I should be concerned about the mulch over the clay like soil?

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